Karyl Hurley '83

  • Dr. Karyl Hurley, a member of the Rush-Henrietta Class of 1983, is director of Global Scientific Affairs for Mars Petcare and an adjunct associate professor at both Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. She has devoted her entire professional career to understanding and promoting the health and welfare of companion animals.

    After receiving a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Cornell University, Dr. Hurley earned board certification from the European College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

    For the last five years Dr. Hurley has been working with the National Institutes of Health to fund research into the health benefits of pets to people: lowering blood pressure, providing emotional support and companionship for the elderly and utilizing therapeutic visits and working dogs to help the disabled, autistic and war veterans.

    Having lectured and taught extensively in the United States and abroad, Dr. Hurley is highly regarded in her field and has an impressive list of writing credits, including contributions to veterinary science and medical textbooks and professional journals.

    Dr. Hurley’s devotion to animal wellness compels her to lend her considerable knowledge to professional organizations with the same focus. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics and the Board of Advisors for the non-profit organization Green Chimneys, a worldwide leader in animal-assisted therapy and activities.

    For more than two decades, Dr. Hurley has been involved in veterinary research activities. Most notable is her association with the WALTHAM Foundation, which is responsible for funding 100 projects in 19 countries to benefit the health and welfare of animals worldwide. 

    Dr. Hurley recognizes that the many opportunities she was provided in high school shaped the course of her life. She credits her biology teacher at R-H, Mr. Bob Patten, with inspiring her to pursue a career in science, and her French teacher, Madame Matthews-Desant for her lifelong love of art, travel and language.

    She and her husband, Dr. Gail Smith, live in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, with their two dogs, two cats, and many fish.


Karyl Hurley '83